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Roland Eustace of Harristown, 2nd Viscount Baltinglass

(1505-1578)

Roland Eustace, the 2nd Viscount, is another rather shadowy figure. He lived through the period of the Reformation, but held strongly to the old faith. One can but imagine his feelings in 1539, when New Abbey, which as a boy lie had seen completed by his father, was dissolved by Henry VIII, and the chapel containing his great-uncle's tomb reduced to ruins. In 1558 he took his seat in the first Parliament of Queen Elizabeth, but strongly opposed-her Act of Uniformity of that year, and for this and other pro-Catholic actions, he was ordered to be arrested in 1567 and conveyed to London, but the order was not carried out. In the interval, however, he had been commissioned, in 1561, as one of the Justices of the, Peace for Co. Kildare, during the temporary absence of the Lord Deputy. He married, in about 1528, Joan, daughter of James Butler, 8th Lord of Dunboyne, by whom he had six sons, with whom we deal shortly, and two daughters: Joan, who married Sir Barnaby FitzPatrick, Baron of Upper Ossory ; and Eleanor, who married Sir Edmund Butler, second son of the 9th Earl of Ormonde, and was the mother of Catherine, fourth wife of William Eustace of Castlemartin. (Her other children were: Piers or Ballysax and James, both executed in 1596; Theobald, Viscount Butler of Tolleophelim; and Joan, who married Teige, 4th Lord Upper Ossory). As a young married man he seems to have lived at Blackrath (Calverstown) until succeeding to the title and the family estate at Harristown in 1549.

These pages Ronald Eustice, 2009